Lucius Malfoy And The Gift Of Mercy
"Hah! Ryu blasts you for six with his super-ultra magic sword of doom."
"Hah! Chun Li suffocates you with her mighty bosom!"
"Hah! Ryu takes off all his clothes and hits you with his "
"Harry, Ron.. There's no point in playing that Muggle game if you're going to use magic to cheat," said Remus, frowning over Harry's shoulder at the screen.
"It makes it more interesting," said Ron, glazed to the screen. "Oh damn you, Chun Li, and your great gazoombas of death." He shoved Harry a little with his elbow. "Fine, you win. How about we rematch, Bison versus Blanka."
"You're on. Just you wait till you see the new nipple twist move I have planned with Bison."
Remus sighed, and moved away from the duo, transfixed as they were by the nintendo Ron had borrowed from a colleague at work. The two might be twenty five, but Remus still felt like their babysitter. Or rather, Harry's babysitter and Ron's housecleaner. It was a struggle to maintain his cool, sometimes; but Remus had no where else to go.
Since he'd left Hogwarts, word of his werewolf status had somehow gotten around the wizarding community no small thanks to Serverus, Remus mused. No one would so much as rent him a room, even here, hundreds of miles from his home. He'd been very lucky, really, that Ron had agreed to let him stay in the spare bedroom of his house in Capetown.
Still, the fact he had to share a house with two men who didn't seem to have outgrown their adolescence irked Remus. At least Ron was away most of the day, working at the breeders dragon farm with his brother, but Harry was there constantly, moping about and being miserable when he wasn't playing nintendo.
Having Harry moan about what a horrible bastard Draco Malfoy was interfered with Remus' studies he was currently researching and tracking unregistered Animagus in the area. Remus was feeling sorely tempted to tell Harry to give his whining a rest; but that, he felt, would be too cruel. Harry was terminally depressed after the Draco affair, as Ron had tagged it. Remus just wished Harry could go and be terminally depressed elsewhere.
No no, he didn't really mean that. Remus frowned as he returned to his room, pushing his less than samaritan thoughts out of his head. Harry was a nice boy, he'd just happened to meet the wrong man. Remus knew what that was like, all too well.
Three owls were waiting for him on the ledge outside his window. Remus opened it with a sigh, knowing that most of those owls would be directed at Ron. It hadn't taken Draco long to work out where Harry was or where he thought Harry was.
He'd sent exactly sixty five howlers to date, and very colourful howlers they'd been, too Draco had quite the way with curses. Remus glanced over the messages the owls carried, two of the envelopes bulging at the seams as the howlers tried to break free of the paper. But the last of them didn't appear to be a howler at all. Remus paused, and reached out to take the letter a rather official looking note.
It was addressed to him.
Remus ripped open the seal, and eyed the contents.
-Mr R. Lupin, the letter read. I cannot get ahold of Harry Potter, but I checked the records and found that you were studying within his probable locale. If you meet with him, inform him that the Ministry have decided to acquit him of his crime, along with Draco Malfoy, and will lay no charges on him for his indecent exposure and lewd use of magic infront of Muggles. He may return safely to England, without fear of repercussion.
Remus blinked at the signature. S. Snape.
Crumpling the letter in his hand, Remus was at a loss. Serverus? His mind was assailed with a hundred memories of his time at Hogwarts as a boy, and then later, as a teacher. He swallowed thickly, and shook his head. It was an official letter, he reminded himself, hopelessly. An order, a message to be passed on, and it meant nothing. Serverus despised him, anyway he'd hated Remus throughout their school years, and hated him all the more after Remus had helped Sirius escape.
Still. It was something. Remus sighed, and padded back into the living room.
"No! No! What are you doing to Bison?" Harry flustered.
"This is what we call a real nipple cripple," Ron smirked. "Three hundred volts, babe."
"Bastard," Harry huffed.
"Harry?" Remus called. Harry looked up, unwilling to pry himself from the game. On screen, Bison was shooting sparks from his eyeballs. "What is it?" he asked.
"Got a letter from Serverus," Remus said. "He says you're free to return to England, when you want to. The Ministry have decided to give you and Draco the benefit of the doubt."
Harry's brow creased. "I'm not going back to England," he said, in a tight voice. "I don't care about the Ministry. I don't want to face him again."
Remus had a feeling this was going to turn into another of Harry's anti-Draco rants.
"After all he did to me," Harry began, predictably. "I'm not going to give the guy the pleasure of seeing me again. He can go rot in hell, for all I care. I bet he's probably found someone else already. Replaced me. Not that I give a damn. I mean, I'm going to replace him just as fast."
"Yeah. Just as soon as you leave the house," said Ron, fiddling with the controls. He'd slipped into one-player mode. "Howzat!"
"There's two howlers waiting for you, Ron," Remus added. "Should I take them out and burn them, again?"
"Uh. 'Kay, yeah."
"No, wait " Harry said, then stopped. "Yes, burn them," he continued, aggrieved. "I don't even want to hear his voice. Or see him again. Or do anything near him again. In fact, I have trouble being on the same bloody planet as him. I mean, if he died today, I wouldn't even go to his funeral. I'd just laugh. Yeah. Because he deserves it. Bastard."
He looked tearful, and Ron tossed the other control at him.
"Come on. We'll do Mario-broomstick racing."
"Oh.. oh. Fine."
Harry accepted the controls, and the two settled back down infront of the television. Remus sighed again, and went to do Ron's bidding.
Tossing the two howlers into a trashcan, and setting fire to them, Remus slightly uneasy. He liked to avoid issues it was something he did best, and having Serverus suddenly write, out of the blue, made him nervous. Hadn't Harry said something about Serverus and Lucius, and the two discussing the Mile High club problem together?
Remus didn't want to consider what else they'd talked about. Remus Lupin, the wolf-boy, who was so starved for any company real company, not just friendship that he'd been coerced by Lucius into his bed. And the fact that Remus had found out later that the whole thing had been part of a running bet Lucius had with Narcissa that twisted, blonde Veela bitc
No, that wasn't fair, Remus corrected himself automatically. There was good to be seen in everyone. Even Narcissa and Lucius Malfoy. They'd given Harry a home for seven years, and they spoiled Draco rotten, and if they happened to be ex-supporters of Voldemort, well, everyone had their little faults.
And my fault, thought Remus, watching the papers crumple and squeal, is that for the life of me, I still can't get Serverus Snape out of my head.
"Get out of the basement, Draco," Lucius growled.
"No you'll only hit me again," Draco whined. "I'd rather risk my chances with the Veela."
"You promised me a heir."
"I tried! I just got confused. Look, I'll try again how's that?"
"You'll try until you're bloody blue in the face, Draco. I'm sending Kaylen down. And if she's not pregnant by the time she comes up again I'm going to release the Veela on you."
"Aah! Not the Veela!"
"Yes, Draco. The Veela," said Lucius, sneering. "Narcissa bring that girl downstairs."
"Of course, love." Narcissa disappeared, and returned a few moments later with the unlucky Kaylena. The girl was having some trouble walking, and in order to preserve her modesty, Narcissa had draped a shawl over the girl's shoulders. Lucius couldn't bring himself to look directly at her. Wordlessly, he pointed into the basement.
The girl stumbled in, and Lucius slammed the trapdoor shut. As the bolts slid to, Lucius looked toward Narcissa, who shrugged her shoulders.
"I refuse to let him get away with this," said Lucius, coldly.
"The ends justify the means," Narcissa replied. "If this doesn't work, we'll have to strap him down."
"He did have another cousin a brunette, as I recall," Lucius mused. "Rather a hot tempered one, too.. Not that I want to play to his little fantasies, but I don't believe we have much choice, my dear. And I can't imagine that Potter boy will stay gone for much longer. Our time is limited."
"You didn't force Harry to go, did you?" Narcissa asked, advancing she looped an arm about Lucius' waist.
"Not force him, no," Lucius admitted. "But I think being locked in a basement with our boy for a week would be ample motivation for anyone. Of course it won't be permanant. Once I've a heir I don't really mind what Draco decides to do with his spare time; or whom he intends to spend it with. And Harry Potter does do marvellous things for the Malfoy name, you know. Quite the clensing presence in this household."
"Voldemort? Who's Voldemort?" Narcissa said, with an innocent expression, pressing a palm to her cheek. "No dark magic practised here, thank you very much."
"What's dark magic?" said Lucius, giving her an equally naive look.
"Oh, darling I love it when you talk clean to me," Narcissa purred. "It's so.. refreshing." She clawed her fingers beneath the collar of his robe, but stopped short as there came the sound of bells chiming the Malfoy anthem from the hallway. "Damn."
"Expecting anyone?" Lucius asked, quizzically.
"No. Not that I know of. I'll get it."
"You always do, my dear."
Narcissa pressed her nails breifly into the small of Lucius' back, then withdrew. He gave her a mocking bow as she left and Narcissa smiled, and offered him a curtsey in return, and a slight, demure bob of her head which she knew he found, for some esoteric reason, incredibly sexy.
Then again, all Malfoys had a secret passion for slumming it or not so secret, in some cases. Lucius had once had a French maid for such purposes a ditzy young witch who spoke with an accent and who kept on turning up, flustered and red-faced, in cupboards all over the house.
Narcissa, not to be outdone, employed a pool man.
She pushed aside her long hair as she leant toward the peep-hole. Outside, Serverus Snape was shifting nervously from foot to foot, still intimidated by the massive size of the manor and the Malfoy estate. Narcissa smirked, and arranging her robes to appear at once sultry and businesslike she opened the door.
"Why, Serverus," she murmured. "It has been a while, hasn't it?"
He'd been expecting Lucius to answer, or one of the house elves, and he looked away sheepishly, embarrased. "Quite, Mrs. Malfoy," he said, shortly. "Are Lucius and Draco home?"
"I can pass on a message."
"I'd rather speak to them face to face. If it's alright with you."
Narcissa felt a hand on her shoulder Lucius was there now, leaning into her posessively. "Quite alright, Serverus," he said. "Do tell us what's up."
Serverus seemed even more uneasy with both of them there. "The Ministry have acquitted Draco and Harry is all," he muttered. "They're free to go where ever they want.. though I haven't been able to find Harry to inform him. He's still missing, isn't he? There's rumours he's in Africa I owled a few associates in the area.."
"My stars," Lucius interupted. "How clever you are managing to get them both off without any difficulties."
"Though, considering their libidos, I wouldn't consider that a large feat," Narcissa said, sotto voce her voice audible only to Lucius. His features twitched slightly, restraining his laughter. He continued: "We're in your debt, Serverus I can't imagine how we might ever repay you."
"It's nothing," said Serverus, shrugging, abashed. "I mean, the gift of mercy, right? And you did save my life, all those years ago.."
Narcissa raised an eyebrow at Lucius. "Saved his life?" she asked, smoothly.
"Oh, yes," said Lucius, pinching her. "And a good thing I did, too. Well if that's all, Serverus well, we'd invite you in, you understand, but Draco's procreating."
"It could become fairly messy," Lucius warned.
"Don't be silly, love," Narcissa chided. "Of course we'll invite Serverus in. It will be wonderful to catch up on old times you can't possibly deny me that, can you? We'll go to the sitting room and you can deal with Draco in the basement."
"You put him back in the basement?" Serverus blinked.
"He returned of his own accord," said Lucius, simply. He pinched Narcissa one last time, then stepped away from the door. "Don't have me wait up for you, my dear."
"Would I ever?" Narcissa reached out to take Serverus' hand, and led him inside.
They'd done the deed, as complicated and disturbing as it was. Draco curled in a ball at the base of a leatherlined ouchie-chair, while Kaylena tried to cover as much of herself as she could with the shawl. The chained Veela gave the duo a round of applause as best they could, at least, with their manacled hands.
"Wasn't that delightful," one chirped. "Such a pretty little couple they make."
"He is most certainly his father's son," another crooned.
"Shut up," Draco grunted, but his heart wasn't in it. His mind was reeling. He'd cheated on Harry really cheated, this time, never mind the fact his father had forced him to do it. He felt horribly guilty. It was as if the last bonds which had tied him to Harry's memory were unravelling, and soon he'd have nothing left of his boyfriend saving the photographs which lined his bedroom walls.
It was all Harry's fault, Draco thought. If Harry had been there, if Draco had been able to talk to Harry, it would have been different. Not that Harry cared. That whimpering little shit, Draco felt, only ever cared about himself. Me, me, me Draco snarled. Well, now Harry was Ron's problem or whomever Harry chose to fill the Draco-shaped void in his life.
Draco gritted his teeth. Bastard, he thought.
He snapped back into reality, and glared at his pale cousin. She shrunk away. "What do you want now?" he snapped.
"N-nothing," Kaylena stammered. "I just hoped we could get out of here. Perhaps if you, um, you know, tried to call your father?"
"I think we just proved that you've far better lungs for that sort of thing than I do," Draco smirked.
"You don't have to be so cruel," Kaylena protested. "I don't like this any more than you do."
"Really? So why did you accept the offer to become the mother of my child?" Draco asked.
"My parents made me," Kaylena admitted. "They thought it was a wonderful opportunity for me to bear the grandchild of Lucius Malfoy."
Draco stared at her, then got to his feet. "Disgusting," he muttered. "Don't they think of anything else except bloody grandchildren?"
"I guess they get to a certain age and " Kaylena shrugged.
"Go senile," Draco finished for her, banging a fist against the trapdoor. "Father!"
Overhead, he heard the sound of his father's approaching footfalls, and on a word of command, the trapdoor unbolted itself. Lucius stared down at them, his fingers steepled at his waist, his wand held, lazily threatening, between his fingertips. One day, Draco thought, with a sudden defiance, I'm going to stand above you, and we'll see how you like it.
"Yes. Yes. I've done it," Draco hissed.
"Bring her up here I want to make sure."
Draco turned to cue Kaylena, but the girl had already risen, and was stumbling towards them. The tip of Lucius' wand glowed, faintly and he turned it on the girl. For a moment she was bathed in an etheral, white light, so bright that her skin became nearly transclucent Draco thought he could see the darkness of her heart, the pale marrow of her bones. Then Lucius nodded, satisfied, and the light vanished.
"That should do adequately." He flicked his wand again, and both Draco and Kaylena were suddenly standing on the floor beside the open trapdoor. "You'll stay here for the next nine months," he informed Kaylena, in a voice that defied any objection. "Find a house elf they will show you to your new room."
"Sir." She bobbed away.
Draco bristled with anger. He'd been used and abused and all for what? For a child he didn't want? He couldn't care less about continuing the Malfoy line if Narcissa and Lucius were so adamant that they wanted a grandchild, they should have had more children, so that the pressure to breed wouldn't be placed solely on Draco's shoulders.
And somehow, in all this mess, he'd lost Harry stupid, annoying Harry. Not that Draco cared. Not that he cared in the slightest, really. It was just infuriating, the way that Harry's name kept surfacing in his thoughts the source of his greatest desire, and perhaps his greatest regret.
"Can I go now," he said, quietly.
"Where ever to, Draco?" Lucius was casually blaise.
"I have to find Harry," said Draco, simply.
"I told you to do that two weeks ago," said Lucius. "Isn't it a bit late now?"
"No," said Draco, firmly, but Lucius canny to each nuance of his son's speech and gestures, heard the quaver in Draco's voice. "It's not too late."
"So you do see our problem," said Narcissa, sprawling across the chaise lounge, her chin resting on her palms. She crossed her ankles behind her, and gazed up at Serverus with the faint hint of a smile playing along her ruby lips. "And we do want Draco and Harry to be happy again. We loved that boy as our own son, you know it's such a tragedy what happened.."
"I assure you, Narcissa I've no idea where Harry is," Serverus sighed. "I can only assume he's in Africa, because he left in a blimp."
"You saw him go?" Narcissa blinked.
"As I was leaving," Serverus nodded. "And I discovered that dragon breeders in Africa have begun to charm their dragons to look like blimps to avoid scaring Muggles.. He was with a red haired man, but I didn't get a good look at his face. It was all very quick I was in a hurry to get to the Ministry, after all."
"A Weasley," Narcissa hissed, her nails suddenly embedding themselves in the doughy arch of the arm rest. "Those little brats.."
"I contacted a few ex-colleagues to see if they could find him," Serverus said, slightly taken aback by the woman's transformation from listless seductress to bitch queen. "I'm sure he's in good hands, no matter where he is "
"Oh, you'll have to do better than that, Serverus," Narcissa snapped, sitting up.
"Draco is pining for his love, and all you can think about is Harry," Narcissa said, her voice grating. "How can you be so callous? My poor son he cries himself to sleep, you know. It breaks a mother's heart oh, no, Serverus Snape, you'll have to do much better than that." She approached him an inch or too taller than he was, in her silver-shining heels and pressed the crest of a burgundy nail against his chest. "You'll have to take him to Harry. To think you knew all this, and didn't tell us? I thought I meant more to you than that."
"Mrs Malfoy please " Serverus attempted to step back, but found his body pressed against the wall.
"Where is your heart, Serverus! How could you let someone suffer like that? How could you stand to let me suffer? My poor, poor son.."
"I'm not sure where he is," Serverus gasped out. The scent of her perfume was intoxicating he could barely breathe in her proximity. "And I have to work, you know I can't go running off because Draco and Harry "
Narcissa let out a wail and pressed her hands to her face, spinning away. Her shoulders shook; she appeared to be crying. "Every night, I rend my breast with my nails, thinking of how much pain my poor darling is going through," she sobbed. "And you alone, Serverus you could help me.."
"I Narcissa " Serverus was baffled.
"Oh, please say you will, Serverus. Please tell me than you'll help my son."
Narcissa let out a heaving sob.
"Fine." Serverus couldn't take it any longer. "I'll take Draco to Africa. But I can't promise anything. I'm not even sure Harry's "
"You sweet, sweet thing," Narcissa said, turning with a smile. "I'll get Draco to pack his bags right away once he's finished procreating. Do help yourself to cake, Serverus I should be right back."
She left, in a whirl of silk and blonde hair. Serverus gaped. Not for the first time when in the presence of one of the Malfoys, the man discovered himself speechless.
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